Tulane Alumni Association




Distinguished Alumnus/a Award 1994


Harold A. Rosen

New Orleans native Harold A. Rosen credits his degree in electrical engineering from Tulane University with providing the foundation for his distinguished career in communication technology.

Rosen is one of the pioneers of the modern communications satellite industry. He is best known as the developer of Syncom, the world's first two-way voice communication satellite, and Intelstat I, the first commercial communications satellite. His many other innovations have helped improve data transmission, made intercontinental television and global weather report available and significantly reduced the costs of telephone calls.

As a Tulane student, Rosen worked at a local radio station, WNOE, as a transmitter engineer. He left Tulane in 1944 to join the Navy and returned in 1946 to complete his senior year. After graduating with a BE in electrical engineering in 1947, Rosen continued his education at the California Institure of Technology, earning an MS in 1948 and a PhD in 1951. After eight years at Raytheon, Rosen joined Hughes Aircraft Company in 1956 where he worked with airborne radars. He was named technical director of the satellite program which he originated in 1959 and vice president of the corporation in 1975. He remained with the company until his retirement in June of 1993.

Rosen is currently chief executive officer of Rosen Motors, a start-up company he established with his brother, Ben. The two are developing a hybrid electric automobile that runs without batteries.

Rosen has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Technology, 1985; Alexander Graham Bell Medal, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, 1982; the first L.M. Ericsson International Prize in Communications, 1976; and the first AIAA Aerospace Communications Award, 1968. In 1975 Tulane awarded him an honorary PhD in recognition for his contributions to the engineering field. In October of this year Rosen will be one of the convocation speakers for the School of Engineering Centennial Celebration.

Rosen is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He holds 54 U.S. patents and has helped develop more than 100 satellites.

Rosen and his wife, Deborah Castleman, who is U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command Control and Communications, now reside "bicoastally" in Santa Monica, Calif., and Washington, D.C. He has two sons, Rocky and Robert.

Alumni Relations, Tulane University, 6319 Willow Street, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5901